Price, brand and basic specs. These are the variables that most people use to narrow down their choice of laptop. When it comes to general mobility, the weight plays a factor too.
If you’re thinking of buying a lightweight Sandy Bridge (2nd Generation Intel Core processors) laptop though, the bargain of the moment has to be the Lenovo X121e. At about 500 pounds inclusive operating system and taxes (406 pounds before tax at Ballicom here) it’s half the expected price of an Ultrabook. (*1)
Yes, there will be some subtle differences which make Ultrabooks ‘better’ but will they be enough?
- Core i5 instead of Core i3 bringing Turbo boost
- Intel Wi-Di capable and ‘always updated’ network hardware and software (and possibly bios)
- Simmer, lighter design
- Fast SSD storage
The key feature of the Ultrabook for me is the high dynamic range of compute power. I like that the Sandy Bridge platform works well for average daily computing at 800Mhz and I like the Intel Quick Sync Video processing that can really help 720p video editing and upload in mobile and time-critical situations. Yes, I would like the turbo boost feature and, 1kg weight and the fast SSD will enhance the experience a lot but I can’t justify that 2x spend right now.
Like the Samsung Series 3, the X121e is approaching Ultrabook territory without the price tag.
(*1) Assumption is that $1000 Ultrabooks in the USA will translate to about £1000 when circa 20% sales tax is added in many European countries.